The death of a parent can be a turning point in any given life. For a surviving son or daughter, the nature of the experience can range from the grief of losing a beloved friend and confidant, to the ambivalence resulting from an abrupt loss of all further possibilities for resolving a conflicted and unsatisfactory relationship, to a sense of relief at being finally freed of the perceived domination and judgement of an overbearing parent. Regardless of one's position, to live through the death of one's parents represents a difficult act of emancipation, a call to ultimate maturation, a transmission of both freedom and responsibility, an entry into the domain of eldership.
This original piece was written during the latter days of my father's final sickness. It is the fruit of many discussions in which he reflected, among other things, on his time as a soldier in North Africa. One of his tasks at that time was to carry written instructions from the generals’ bunkers to the soldiers on the front line.
The piece also offers a personal reflection on the ineffability of fully encompassing the depth of experience carried in the life of another and the sense of helplessness often experienced in the face of progressive mental and physical dissolution.
The music that accompanies this piece was composed and performed by Coastal Slipstream (David Capon and Peter Popko)